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Roswell Approves Staff Outsourcing Contracts

The city will use SAFEbuilt Georgia for code enforcement services and send inmates to Pelham, Ga.

Following up on the city's unprecedented move to outsource a number of staff jobs within the 2013 fiscal year's budget, finalized the measure by contracting out several areas of staff work during its meeting on Monday.

As part of an endeavor to balance the budget without raising the millage rate or reducing service, Roswell agreed to during the budgetary process this past spring.

Code enforcement services were contracted out to SAFEbuilt Georgia, a Colorado company with offices in Johns Creek and Milton for $695,000 annually. City Administrator Kay Love estimated the move will save the city $150,000 per year. However, the entire savings may not be realized the first year since the city will have to pay a transition fee, which is currently an unknown amount.

The company's services will include building code administration, permitting inspections, plan review, code enforcement, public education and outreach.

"The main goal is enhanced customer service," said Director of Community Development Alice Wakefield.

Most of the current code enforcement staff, whose jobs are being outsourced,  have been set up with an outboarding plan and are likely to apply for positions with SAFEbuilt, according to city staff. Love stressed the company's treatment of its employees as a major reason the mid-range proposer was chosen from the four code enforcement service proposals the city received. Opportunity for employee bonuses and advancement are greater within SAFEbuilt than with the city, she said.

"We will not know until we try," said Love, responding to criticism over the move to outsource.

The council also approved a memorandum of understanding between Roswell and the city of Pelham, Ga. for housing inmates who've been sentenced to remain incarcerated for longer than 72 hours. Roswell will pay the city of Pelham $30 per day, per inmate for housing, food, transportation and routine medical treatment.

The city estimates the annual cost to Roswell will be around $345,000.

Roswell Councilwoman Betty Price hopes the over four hour trip to south Georgia is a deterrent to would-be wrong doers, whose friends and family would likely have to travel further to see them.

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Also during Monday night's meeting, the council - which was absent Mayor Jere Wood, as well as council members Kent Igleheart and Rich Dippolito - approved amending the current city budget, which ends June 30, to increase the projected revenue, use of reserves and expenditures.

The city recognized a combined $228,000 of additional revenue from confiscated assets ($28,000) and recreation participation fees ($200,000). Some reserve funds went to pay down the city's debt service, worker's compensation and replace computers and software at the .

For stories on a related topic, see also:

Jake Lilley June 27, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Mayor Wood can save $200,000 annually by removing the metal detectors from the entrance of Roswell City Hall. Last I heard, the city council vote to remove or make permanent the metal detectors was a split decision of 3 in favor and 3 against their removal. The tie breaking vote rests with Mayor Wood. I support the decision to outsource staff via contracted services. This will allow the private market to compete for service contracts and focus attention on creating happy customers. Outsourced services are a move in the right direction for Roswell.
lee Turner June 28, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Jake, you're wrong about the private contracts. Other jurisdictions using private contractors charge much higher permit fees. The added cost is passed on to the consumer. Nothing wrong with businesses wanting to make a profit, but when citizens are required to obtain permits for everything from decks to brand new houses, they're going to holler big time when they see those fees. There go those happy customers you're predicting. This isn't the same as privatizing garbage service which allows people their pick of several different companies. If you want to build something - or just change out a water heater - you'll still have just one company to"pick" from. Talk to contractors who permit in other jurisdictions and find out how much more expensive they are. Roswell fees are unbelievably cheap, That'll change. Do you also support kicking out long-time employees and replacing them with DIFFERENT employees? Of course, that means several more people in the unemployment line. How does it make sense to REPLACE - not REDUCE - the employees? I smell an agenda here - and it's probably not a desire to save taxpayers money. Besides, with Roswell's acceptance of federal stimulus (as in stimulate the economy) money to build MARTA shelters and make road improvements etc., doesn't outsourcing contradict that intent by putting people out of work? I smell a big rat.
Jake Lilley June 28, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Lee, I happen to agree with several of your points. I would prefer each citizen of Roswell to have the freedom to choose a service provider without government playing the role of the middle man. I agree with reducing and replacing government services with private services (i.e. your example of private trash pickup). On one end of the spectrum is a government run monopoly. On the other end of the spectrum is a free market where people engage in commerce through a system of voluntary exchange. Outsourcing government services to contracted services is not my preferred solution, but it is a step closer to the freedom end of the spectrum. Therefore, I will take the position that outsourced services are a move in the right direction for the citizens of Roswell. As for stimulus dollars, the government doesn’t create jobs that pay the bills. The government creates the jobs that ARE the bills. ‎"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson
Terry Miller June 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM
This outsourcing in no way gives citizens more choice of "providers." They still have to go to the new entity to get their business taken care of. There's no choice in the matter. Roswell is getting rid of competent long time employees to reduce their pension and insurance costs. If you look at it closely, it's blatant age discrimination. That's the "rat."
lee Turner June 30, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Terry, you're probably correct! Older employees are more likely to have catastrophic illnesses, so employers don't want them on the health insurance roles. If Patch readers haven't seen the video of Monday night's meeting, go to the website and watch pit bull Janet Russell tear into those council members! I bet they slide around in their own sweat when they see Janet walk into the hearing room. She brings up some great points, one being about the city's treatment of a veteran. Yes, the city puts on a big hoopdedo on Memorial Day, but apparently there's a veteran among those to be outsourced and they're putting him/her on the street. " Thank you for your service to your country, sir/madame". And where were Dippolito and Igleheart that night? Too afraid to show up and cast a vote? Also the transition fee is an "unknown amount". So these morons are voting to move forward with something even though they don't know the exact cost of doing so? That's not only irresponsible, it's just plain stupid!! All of you imposters need to step down! You've played at being grownups long enough!

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